The free-agency bottleneck, in many cases, comes down to this: Most free agents are being offered one-year deals, but they (or their agents) continue to hold out for multi-year contracts.
Given a prevailing I-want-it-and-I-want-it-now attitude, that’s not surprising. But maybe these guys should start playing the baseball market as well as they play the game.
We’re in an economic downturn. Why would you want to accept a multi-year deal at depressed terms? Take one year, go out and produce — then get that multi-year contract in next winter’s hopefully-improved financial climate.
It’s a risk: Injury, diminishing skills (ears burning, Andruw?), increased competition can impact next year’s bargaining power. But the times say that it’s the players’ turn to take the bigger risk.
The risk an unprecedented number of them will take is “holding out” until the season is well under way. That’s fine with general managers who can get a 60-game read on their teams before deciding whether it’s prudent to sign a finishing piece.
Like Toronto’s J.P. Ricciardi, who feels that many of the players still on the market†”have made enough money in the game where they can sit it out until the season begins and then get signed if a team has a need.”
Pet peeve (despite the business tone of the above item): References to the baseball “industry.” It’s not a steel mill, it’s a ballpark. Maybe we’re past the point of calling it just a “game,” but it’s still more amusement than work. …†
Just wondering: Why is Tuesday the release day for all media? DVDs, CDs, books? Like Joe Torre’s now-much-anticipated tell-some, due to be released on Feb. 3, a Tuesday. …†
Want to know why the Manny Ramirez camp is so adamant against accepting that two-year, $45 million deal from the Dodgers? Because Scott Boras promised the player much more in convincing him to get out of those two option years with the Red Sox — which were worth $40 million. …
Speaking of the Red Sox … there is a lot of speculation about the bleak economy’s affect on baseball, but the telltale sign will be whether Boston is able to continue †its record sellout streak, at 469 games. And will there be a 4 million gate (both New York teams got there in 2008) for a fifth consecutive season? …†
We remember A.J. Burnett dreaming out loud in June: ”If I’d have the opportunity to go to a place where baseball is breakfast, lunch and dinner, that would be awesome.” Well, he’s gone to a place where baseball is also brunch, midnight snack and religion. …
How did Tampa Bay become the Fatima of baseball — as in a site for miracles? First, the Rays. And now the Arizona Cardinals play a Super Bowl there. And isn’t it a case of the pot calling the kettle black for Rays manager Joe Maddon †to say of the Cards, “For them to get to the Super Bowl, I don’t think that was really on anyone’s radar.”
Joe, a year ago, not even Doppler could pick up your Rays.